IN RE FRIDRICH E.T.W. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Mar 21, 2012

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1: Julie Anne Foster, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for the appellant, George R.W., Jr.

Attorneys 2: Robert E. Cooper, Jr., Attorney General and Reporter; Martha A. Campbell, Associate Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Nashville, Tennessee, for the appellee, Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. No appearance by Guardian ad Litem.

Judge(s): SUSANO

George R.W., Jr. (“Father”) appeals the termination of his parental rights with respect to his minor son, Fridrich E.T.W. (DOB: Aug. 27, 2008) (“the Child”). The Department of Children’s Services (“DCS”) had filed a petition seeking to terminate both parents’ rights after the Child was taken into custody pursuant to an emergency protective order. He was subsequently adjudicated dependent and neglected as a result of being subjected to severe child abuse. As to Father, DCS pursued termination on the sole ground of severe child abuse. Father did not appear at trial. At the start of the trial, his counsel moved for a continuance based in part on counsel’s assertion that Father had advised her that he wished to effectuate a voluntary surrender of his parental rights. The trial court denied the motion and the hearing proceeded in Father’s absence. The court terminated Father’s rights based upon its finding that the sole ground for termination was established and that termination was in the best interest of the Child, both findings said by the court to be made by clear and convincing evidence. Father appeals. We affirm.